There are days that each of us struggle to find our place. There are weekends when students from only a few hours away can go back home and see family, high school friends, and even pets. However, there are students who are thousands and thousands of miles away from home – whether that be a state across the country or on a completely different continent. Each of these students, domestic and international, deserve to feel that IU is their “second home.”
The student organization, Brothers & Sisters at IU, was founded a few years ago by IU Kelley alumni Yue Hu and Cheng Li. The aim of the organization is to create global friendships by pairing students together based on common interests, fields of study, and hobbies. There are monthly “meetings” where members of the organization learn about the different cultural aspects of the world including food, music, media, and holidays.
I officially joined this organization in September 2015 after meeting Yue and Cheng at the Student Involvement Fair. Over the past two years, this organization has led me to have a place at IU I never thought I would have. I came to IU from an extremely tiny town and knew only a handful of people on campus. However, I found my place among my friends from the US, Venezuela, China, Korea, Turkey, Mexico, Egypt, etc.
As the current president of Brothers & Sisters at IU, it is extremely important to me that we rebuild our membership. Last year was a difficult year for Brothers & Sisters at IU, and it took a back burner to all the personal things the members were dealing with. With the help of new officers and our amazing faculty advisor, this organization is up and running again!
1) Meet our officers!
L: Bailey Tingley – President
Hometown: Fountaintown, IN
C: Briana Killian – Secretary
Hometown: London, IN
R: Katie McGranahan – Treasurer
Hometown: Barrington, IL
Alexus Sims-Barnes – Vice President
Hometown: Waukegan, IL
Sarah Williamson – Social Media
Hometown: Cairo, Egypt
2) We are about cultural diversity!
There is a reason we are called Brothers and Sisters at IU and there is a reason we create global friendships. The IU campus has brought members from all over the world and they joined this organization to feel more at home. Cultural awareness and diversity is what make us better people. This organization welcomes people of all background.
3) Events are fun!
Events are not just meetings about cultural topics. Sure those do happen on occasion but past events have included volunteering in the Jordan Hall Greenhouse, a cookout for Earth Day, cooking moon cakes, carving pumpkins, and the Holi Festival! Some of the best memories I have of IU involve this club!
4) We have created a home!
The casual and comfortable setting of this organization allows for global friendships to really grow. We don’t just have to hang out during meetings but we can go grocery shopping together, to a sporting event, or to the movies. It is just people wanting friends and perspectives from all over the world. IU really is our second home!